Financing Our Foodshed
April 2019
Slow Money Central Virginia is one-year old in May. We could not be more energized by the progress we've made in a year, and by the plans we have for the many years to come.

Supporting the financial needs of our local farmers is truly a rewarding endeavor. Our latest loan is a testament to that by all means. In April, Little Hat Creek Farm , run by Heather Coiner and Ben Stowe in Nelson County, received a 0% SOIL loan to help them purchase new equipment for their amazing on-farm bakery. You can read more about the farm and the loan below.

Thank you again to all our supporters who are enabling us to pursue our mission to provide financial stewardship to small-scale farms and food entrepreneurs in the local foodshed. And if you have not yet done so, please...
Become A Nurture Capitalist Today!

This is a grassroots effort! We hope as many people as possible will support our mission. Any size charitable contribution you can make to our SOIL revolving loan fund goes a long way toward helping us help the local foodshed with its financial needs. Our demand for loans continues to grow every day. Please help us to meet the needs of our local farmers in any way you can. Thank you.
Little Hat Creek Farm

Little Hat Creek Farm is a diversified ecological vegetable farm with on on-farm wood-fired bakery. The farm is located near Roseland in Nelson County and is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Ben Stowe and Heather Coiner. Ben oversees the dozens of varieties of the most succulent seasonal vegetables, herbs and berries, while Heather keeps the bakery pumping out delicious breads and pastries. She sources much of her grain from local/regional organic growers and is one of the founding members of the Common Grain Alliance . With the help of a 0% Slow Money loan, the farm will be purchasing a new commercial bakery dough sheeter, a machine that rolls out pieces of dough to a desired thickness. The dough sheeter will not only reduce labor hours, it will greatly increase production to meet the demand for their pastries. You can find their breads, pastries, and amazing vegetables at the Charlottesville City Market and the Nelson County Farmers Market. As always, we'll keep you posted on the farm's progress on our  website, Facebook page, and Instagram account .
Heather Coiner and Ben Stowe from Little Hat Creek Farm, with their twins Samuel and Hazel
Nurture Capital At Work

With five loans now in our portfolio, there are lots of exciting things happening this spring as a result of our community of nurture capitalists coming together to support the needs of the local foodshed. Below is a snapshot of some of the fruits of your collective efforts. Thank you again to all our supporters for making these things happen!

New rollout nest boxes for the laying hens at Free Union Grass Farm
Aviary under construction for organic squab husbandry at Vanguard Ranch
New mushroom bag tumbler in action at Sharondale Farm
Always Accepting Farmer Loan Applications!
The mission of Slow Money Central Virginia is to support the financial needs of farmers and food entrepreneurs in our region. Our inaugural program called SOIL (Slow Opportunities for Investing Locally) is a 0% revolving loan program. We accept applications on a rolling basis. We can’t stress enough that no request is too small, as we want to be a friendly source of capital to help farm businesses grow in a way that’s best for them.

2019 Conservation Stewardship Program Now Open!
Arguably one of the most important programs for local farms in the Farm Bill, the Conservation Stewardship Program was almost decimated in Farm Bill negotiations last year. Fortunately it wound up being protected and improved. The CSP helps farmers implement comprehensive, whole-farm resource stewardship, with a strong emphasis on soil health practices that improve long term productivity, profitability, and resilience as well as protecting soil, water, and other resources. The deadline for initial applications is May 10.

Impact Investing News at Tom Tom
Slow Money Central Virginia attended an Impact Investor meet-up at the Tom Tom Festival in early April. It was hosted by Social Entrepreneurship at Uva and the Virginia Impact Investing Forum. At the meet-up, it was revealed that Gov. Northam had earlier that afternoon announced an initiative to encourage economic growth in Virginia's Opportunity Zones. This is a topic our organization expects to be actively engaged in down the road so we are pleased to hear about the announcement.

Sign Up for Peer-to-Peer Opportunities
In the past several months we have presented a few opportunities for peer-to-peer loans in the local foodshed. We use this strategy for those loan requests that are too large for our current SOIL fund reserves, or for requests from off-farm food businesses. Due to the growing number of these opportunities we are seeing, and expect to see in the future, we are trying to better systematize our approach. If you are interested in being contacted about peer-to-peer lending opportunities as they arise, please fill out the Lender Information Form on our website so we can curate the opportunities according to your interest.

Other Events & Opportunities
Investing for the Common Good
April 25, 2019
Slow Money Central Virginia Co-Founder Hunter Hopcroft will be serving on a panel at the Investing for the Common Good Forum. It is conducted by Common Good RVA, a network of Richmonders who are inspired to use their daily work to seek the common good of their city. Keynoting the event will be Matt Illian, executive director of the Virginia Impact Investing Forum .

Ellen Polishuk at Real Local RVA Meeting
May 6, 2019
The May Real Local RVA meeting will feature a talk by Ellen Polishuk, a pioneer in the Virginia farming community. Ellen, who for many years managed Potomac Vegetable Farms , now runs a consulting company called Plant to Profit . Ellen is going to tackle the topic of "Mitigating the Crazy" in the local food scene. This meeting is not just for farmers - it's for small local food businesses, wholesale buyers, and eaters.

Free Union Grass Farm Tours
May 11, 2019
... and thru the Summer!
See for yourself some of the improvements at Free Union Grass Farm made with their Slow Money loan, as well as all the other amazing work on the farm. They will be holding farm tours at 10am on several Saturdays throughout the summer. The next one is May 11.